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The Efficient Liability Sharing Factor For Environmental Disasters: Lessons For Optimal Insurance Regulation

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  • Marcel Boyer

    ()

  • Donatella Porrini

Abstract

Using a structural model of the interactions between governments, firms and insurance companies, we characterise the distortions in environmental liability sharing between firms and insurance companies that the imperfect implementation of government policies implies. These distortions stem from three factors: the presence of moral hazard, the non congruence between firms/insurers objectives and social welfare, and the courts’ imperfect assessment of safety care levels exerted by firms. We characterize cases where the efficient liability sharing factor is above or below its full information perfect implementation level. We derive comparative statics results indicating how sensitive the liability sharing factor is to changes in parameters (parameters that underlie the firm profit level and volatility, the cost of safety care, the monitoring cost, the social cost of public funds, the effectiveness of care in reducing the probability of accident) that are relevant for the characterization of optimal policies (liability sharing, safety care standards) toward environmental protection or the prevention of industrial accidents. We derive policy implications regarding environmental disaster insurance policies. À l’aide d’un modèle structurel des interactions entre les gouvernements, les entreprises et les assureurs, nous caractérisons les distorsions dans le partage des responsabilités entre entreprises et assureurs qu’implique la mise en place imparfaite des politiques gouvernementales. Ces distorsions résultent de trois facteurs : la présence de risque moral, la non-congruence des objectifs des entreprises, des assureurs et de bien-être social, et l’observation imparfaite des efforts de prévention des entreprises par le système judiciaire. Nous dérivons des résultats de statique comparée montrant la sensibilité du facteur de partage des responsabilités à des changements dans les paramètres sous-jacents à la profitabilité, au coût des efforts de prévention, à l’efficacité de ces efforts dans la réduction de la probabilité d’accident, au coût de monitoring, au coût social des fonds publics, et qui sont pertinents à la caractérisation des politiques optimales (partage de responsabilité, standard légal du niveau de prévention) de protection environnementale et de prévention des accidents. Nous en déduisons certaines implications quant aux politiques relatives à l’assurance contre les désastres environnementaux.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2008s-03.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2008s-03

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Keywords: Liability sharing; environmental insurance; safety care; moral hazard; principal-agent.; Partage de responsabilité; assurance environnementale; effort de prévention; risque moral; principal-agent.;

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References

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  1. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2007. "Sharing Liability Between Banks and Firms: The Case of Industrial Safety Risk," CIRANO Working Papers 2007s-04, CIRANO.
  2. Marcel Boyer & Jean-Jacques Laffont, 1995. "Environmental Protection, Producer Insolvency and Lender Liability," CIRANO Working Papers 95s-50, CIRANO.
  3. Segerson, Kathleen & Tietenberg, Tom, 1992. "The structure of penalties in environmental enforcement: An economic analysis," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 179-200, September.
  4. Tyran, Jean-Robert & Zweifel, Peter, 1993. "Environmental risk internalization through capital markets (ERICAM): The case of nuclear power," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 431-444, December.
  5. Pitchford, Rohan, 1995. "How Liable Should a Lender Be? The Case of Judgment-Proof Firms and Environmental Risk," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1171-86, December.
  6. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2002. "Modeling the Choice Between Regulation and Liability in Terms of Social Welfare," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-13, CIRANO.
  7. Marcel Boyer & Jean-Jacques Laffont, 1994. "Environmental Risks and Bank Liability," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-22, CIRANO.
  8. Andrew F. Daughety & Jennifer F. Reinganum, 2003. "Markets, Torts and Social Inefficiency," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0308, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  9. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  10. Eberhard Feess & Ulrich Hege, 2000. "Environmental Harm and Financial Responsibility*," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(2), pages 220-234, April.
  11. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2000. "Law versus Regulation: A Political Economy Model of Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-57, CIRANO.
  12. Cropper, Maureen L & Oates, Wallace E, 1992. "Environmental Economics: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 675-740, June.
  13. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2002. "The Choice of Instruments for Environmental Policy: Liability or Regulation?," CIRANO Working Papers 2002s-17, CIRANO.
  15. Heyes, Anthony G, 1996. "Lender Penalty for Environmental Damage and the Equilibrium Cost of Capital," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 311-23, May.
  16. Feess, E. & Hege, U., 2000. "Environmental harm and financial responsibility," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-85388, Tilburg University.
  17. Boyd, James, 2001. "Financial Responsibility for Environmental Obligations: Are Bonding and Assurance Rules Fulfilling Their Promise?," Discussion Papers dp-01-42, Resources For the Future.
  18. Michael G Faure & G�ran Skogh, 1992. "Compensation for Damages Caused by Nuclear Accidents: A Convention as Insurance," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 17(4), pages 499-513, October.
  19. Ringleb, Al H & Wiggins, Steven N, 1990. "Liability and Large-Scale, Long-term Hazards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 574-95, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Marcel Boyer & Donatella Porrini, 2010. "Optimal liability sharing and court errors: an exploratory analysis," Working Papers hal-00463913, HAL.
  2. Boyer, Marcel & Porrini, Donatella, 2011. "The impact of court errors on liability sharing and safety regulation for environmental/industrial accidents," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 21-29, March.
  3. Gérard Mondello, 2010. "Risky Activities and Strict Liability Rules: Delegating Safety," Working Papers 2010.103, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

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